Offline GPS mappingDedicated GPS devices for backcountry exploration can often be expensive. If you have an Android smartphone, then you may want to check out Backcountry Navigator Pro ($9.99).
Typically, smartphones are only useful useful if you are in range of the nearest cell tower. However, the Backcountry Navigator app provides offline GPS mapping. Even if you are outside of cell phone service range, the GPS on your Android (in theory) will continue to work anywhere you have a wide, clear view of the sky. With a bit of pre-planning, Backcountry Navigator lets you download maps and aerial photos of the areas you plan to explore while you are still in cell range and then use your Android’s GPS to find your position on these maps when you are in the wilderness.Backcountry Navigator supports free topographical maps from Natural Resources’ Toporama and MyTopo Canadian topographical maps. It also includes a compass and the ability to set way points and record your route, notes, landmarks, etc. to share with others. There is a desktop version to allow you to plan your trip on a larger screen and a version for Windows Mobile devices.
Map sizes can get very large and the GPS can be a drain on your phone’s battery. Backcountry Navigator allows you to turn off the GPS when it is not in use to conserve your battery. Depending on the length of your trip you should consider taking a spare battery, or a solar/hand-crank battery charger.
Get more information about Backcountry Navigator at http://www.backcountrynavigator.com/.